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School shoe fitting guide: how to properly fit your child’s school shoes

Getting the right fitting school shoes for your child is a big consideration as their growing feet need the right support from day one.

By Rebecca Roberts | Last updated Aug 24, 2023

School shoe fitting guide

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As a parent, you want to ensure that your child's feet are healthy and well-supported as they navigate their way through the school day. One of the most important aspects of this is getting them the right school shoes. Ill-fitted school shoes can have serious consequences on your child's feet, including blisters, calluses, and even long-term foot problems. That's why it's crucial to understand the importance of proper school shoe fitting and how to achieve it.

After all, kids aren't great at warning you that they’re growing out of their shoes, particularly when starting school at a young age! So, we'll guide you through the process of measuring your child's feet at home, providing you with a step-by-step guide and essential tools for accurate measurements. For guidance in person, make sure to head to your nearest schuh kids store - you can find the nearest one to you here

We'll also inform you about the optimal times for measuring feet and how often you should check your child's shoe size as they grow from toddler to teenager. Finally, we'll give you tips on what to look for when trying on new school shoes so that you can make an informed decision that prioritises your child's foot health.

The importance of proper school shoe fitting

Did you know kids' feet grow two whole sizes each year up to age 4? By the time they start primary school, that growth slows to approximately one size a year. As they grow through school, proper school shoe fitting each year (or twice for some kids) is essential for your child's foot health. Not only does having comfortable and supportive footwear promote healthy foot development as your child grows, but it also prevents them developing foot pain, discomfort, blisters, and other issues that would cause problems later down the line.

Simply put: investing in quality shoes is crucial to avoid long-term foot issues for your DC. Thankfully, to accurately measure your child’s feet, parents can utilise schuh kids' free in-store fitting service. So, you can rest assured knowing your child's feet have been properly measured. For those unable to visit in person, don't worry, as schuh kids has a comprehensive online fitting guide you can use at home.

By understanding the importance of proper school shoe fitting, you can ensure your child wears the perfect pair of shoes that not only fit well but also provide the necessary support for their growing feet.

The consequences of ill-fitted school shoes

Improperly fitting school shoes can have serious consequences for children's feet. Not only can they cause blisters and calluses on the surface, but wearing the wrong school shoe size can actually affect your DC's overall health and wellbeing in different ways.

When shoes are not sized correctly, children may experience discomfort and pain while walking, which can hinder their daily activities and play. Additionally, shoes that are the wrong size may restrict proper blood circulation in the feet, leading to potential issues later in life. 

Moreover, incorrect shoe sizes can hinder natural foot growth and development, potentially affecting their gait and overall foot health.

Read next: Discover the top shoes for boys and girls from schuh kids

Preparations for shoe fitting at home

Before measuring your child's feet for the perfect pair of school shoes, there are a few preparations you need to make.

Firstly, head to schuh kids' online fitting guide. Then, gather essential tools such as a ruler and a flat surface, like a piece of paper or a book, to ensure accurate measurements.

It's important to find a comfortable and well-lit area where your child can stand upright during the measurement process. Make sure your child is relaxed and not slouching while taking the measurements. Remember to remove any footwear or socks before measuring their feet. This will give you the most accurate measurements.

Finally, it's crucial to measure both feet and choose the size based on the larger foot, as our feet are usually slightly different in size. By following these preparations, you'll be ready to find the perfect-fitting school shoes for your child's feet.

Shop now: Best school shoes from schuh kids

Essential tools for accurate measurements

To ensure accurate measurements when fitting your child's school shoes, it is essential to have the right tools on hand.

Start by using a ruler or measuring tape to measure the length of your child's feet. Make sure their foot is placed on a flat surface for precise measurements. Align the ruler with the longest toe to get accurate results.

Additionally, don't forget to measure the width of your child's foot. You can use either a ruler or a width measuring device for this purpose. Taking measurements in millimetres provides more precise shoe sizing.

By using these essential tools and following the correct measuring techniques, you can find the perfect pair of school shoes for your child, ensuring comfort and proper foot development.

Optimal time for measuring feet

When measuring your child's feet for school shoes, it is important to choose the optimal time for accurate sizing. The best time to measure is in the afternoon or evening, as feet tend to swell throughout the day.

It is also recommended to avoid measuring immediately after activities or exercises that may cause foot swelling.

To ensure precise measurements, choose a time when your child is calm and relaxed. Additionally, make sure your child is wearing socks or tights, if they will be worn with the school shoes.

"We were told they should be measured every 4-6 weeks and they were right." 


Remember to periodically repeat the measurements as your child's feet grow. As your child's feet grow, to ensure they are always in the correct fitting shoe, it’s worth measuring their feet every 8-12 weeks. This will help you find the perfect pair of school shoes that fit comfortably and provide the necessary support.

Prefer to leave it to the pros?

Find the nearest schuh kids store to you and use their free in-store fitting service to have your child's feet properly measured. That's not all - if you recycle your child's old pair of shoes with schuh kids’ “Too Big For Your Boots” initiative, you’ll receive a fiver off your next pair!

Step-by-step guide to measure your child's feet

To measure your child's feet accurately, follow these steps:

  • start by ensuring that they are standing with their weight evenly distributed on both feet

  • place your child’s foot on top of your paper, pressing down gently so it’s flat and making sure toes aren’t curled

  • measure the length of each foot from the heel to the longest toe

  • draw a small line behind the heel and another in front of the longest toe.

  • measure the width of each foot at the widest part

  • then, use a sizing chart to determine the correct shoe size for your child

Keep in mind the difference between UK and US shoe sizes for an accurate fit. There are four standard widths for children’s shoe sizes in the UK. Children’s shoe sizes in the UK start at 0, which is usually a good size for newborn babies. They then go up to size 13, which is the end of the ‘little kids’ sizes. After that, in bigger kids’ sizes, they go from size 1 to 6.

Every child is different and grows at different rates, so don’t worry if feet are slightly bigger or smaller than the average size.

Shop now: Browse schuh kids for your child's next pair of shoes

How often should you check your child's shoe size?

Regularly monitoring your child's shoe size every few months is crucial.

Children's feet grow quickly. So, it's important to ensure a proper fit. Watch for discomfort or pressure points, and consider checking after growth spurts or weight gain. If unsure, consult a schuh kids store for guidance.

What should you look for when trying on new school shoes?

When trying on new school shoes, it's important to ensure your DC has enough toe room for comfortable movement. Look for proper arch support, cushioning, and a secure fit. Flexible soles allow natural foot movement, and features like breathable materials and adjustable closures add extra comfort.

It is crucial for parents to prioritise the proper fitting of their child's school shoes. Ill-fitted shoes can lead to various consequences such as discomfort, foot pain, and even long-term foot problems.

To ensure accurate measurements at home, make sure to have essential tools and measure your child's feet at the optimal time of the day. Follow the step-by-step guide provided to measure both the width and length of their feet accurately.

Additionally, it is important to regularly check your child's shoe size as their feet can grow rapidly. When trying on new school shoes, pay attention to factors such as comfort, flexibility, and support.

By taking these steps, you can provide your child with well-fitted shoes that promote healthy foot development and overall comfort throughout their school day.

About schuh kids

At schuh kids, we understand that kids’ shoes are a top priority. We believe that those growing feet deserve nothing but the best. Our curated range of shoes for both girls and boys showcases a collection of renowned brands designed to cater to even the tiniest sizes. 

Ensuring an impeccable fit is our mission, and with our comprehensive kids’ shoe size guide and convenient conversion chart, you can rest assured knowing your child has shoes on that are the perfect fit. 

All schuh stores carry a range of kids shoes, so, use our store finder to locate a store near you where our experts can personally measure your child’s feet to ensure an accurate fit. 

At schuh, we've always pushed the boundaries to surpass customer expectations. Our dedication is showcased through initiatives such as our one year customer returns policy. We pride ourselves on making our entire product inventory accessible to all customers, regardless of their location.

Join us at schuh kids, where we prioritise the needs of growing feet and strive to exceed expectations with every step. 

About the author

Rebecca Roberts is a writer, editor, and content marketing expert hailing from Leeds. Here at Mumsnet, she commissions, writes, and edits to bring parents content designed to make life easier. As a mum of two children - a preschooler and toddler - she knows all too well the importance of finding them comfortable shoes that fit correctly while not hindering their growth. So, she’s fully invested in helping parents find the best school shoes for their DC for the new school term.

Beyond her role as an editor here at Mumsnet, Rebecca can be found balancing life as a working mum of two toddlers and when she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her at a local playgroup, in a nearby coffee shop, or walking the dog.